Bridge to Business: Introducing our Entrepreneur Speakers!

As part of Lochaber Ideas Week, DYW West Highland brings to you Bridge to Business which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 14th November, 1-3.30pm at Lochaber High School. The aim of this informative, interactive and fun session is to educate our young people about entrepreneurship and business start up! There really is no wrong age to start up your own business!

Bridge to Business

Kicking off the session will be presentations delivered by our group of inspirational and passionate entrepreneurs who will tell the students about their individual business start up stories, giving advice and guidance along the way. Skills Development Scotland will be presenting, followed by Young Enterprise Scotland who will be leading an interactive workshop that will show pupils how to write an effective business plan, pitch a business idea and successfully market a product.

Meet our Entrepreneurs!

Below is a biography of all our fantastic, local entrepreneurs who have very kindly offered to come and speak to our gathering of young people!

Hannah Barnes

Hannah Barnes is a professional mountain biker from near Fort William, Scotland. For the past 10 years she has travelled all over the world to race, for film projects and promotional events with sponsors. She is an athlete and brand ambassador for Specialized Bicycles, Lululemon and BMW. Hannah is also a Staff Nurse at the Belford Hospital, and is about to start her Yoga Teacher Training.

Archie MacDonald

Archie MacDonald is a director at The Highland Soap Company, which makes soap and skincare products in Fort William. After university in Scotland and a few years working for an investment company in London, Archie came back to Spean Bridge where his family have farmed for generations and joined The Highland Soap Company, becoming a director. He has helped its founder, Emma Parton, take a great brand and a fantastic product to a wider audience. With four shops in the Highlands, a thriving online business and an increasing number of the finest hotels in Scotland as customers, he hopes, with Emma, to build a company in Fort William that is known around the country.

Nikki Roberts

Nikki Roberts is 31 years old and set up Floral Elegance back in September 2013. She has been self-employed now for 5 years, and has enjoyed every second.
Floral Elegance is a freelance, bespoke wedding and events florist with bases both in Inverness and Fort William. Word of mouth is everything to the business and “you are only as good as your last job”, is a saying Nikki stands by as it is a vital factor when running your own business. Creating a great reputation for yourself and your company through knowledge and good communication with your clients is at the for front of Floral Elegance.

Damien Forster

Damien, along with his partner Nix own local shop, Off Beat Bikes who aim to sell and hire all sorts of quality bikes for all sizes of people. The store has a fully kitted out workshop ,qualified mechanics and a sales floor full of bike parts, open water swimming gear and running shoes.
Damien and Nix aim to deliver quality advice and service regarding products they use themselves to ensure they cater for the needs of their staff and customers who are passionate about swimming biking or running in Lochaber !

Jonathan McCook

Jonathan is 24 years old and since leaving school he has always wanted to help others. Developing an interest and understanding of  human anatomy and physiology, he decided to move home to Fort William and open a gym. Owning his own gym means he can coach and share his knowledge with locals and help them build healthier lifestyles, behaviours and habits. Jonathan is the owner and creator of Tough Cookie Fitness.

A massive thanks goes to everyone who has helped us with Bridge to Business. We look forward to seeing everyone on the 14th November!

If you are a teacher, senior phase high school pupil or college student that is interested in attending Bridge to Business, tickets are free and can be accessed from Eventbrite by visiting . Alternatively, contact one of the DYW team on: / 01397 705 765 /Facebook / Twitter or call in and see us in the office at Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, 15 High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH.